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December 29, 2009

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Jason Reed

There are a few services that specialize in generating a mobile version of your site- http://mobify.me/ is one such service.

Mobile-specific sites are fantastic when done correctly, and infuriating when they do things wrong. For example, pressdemo.com defaults to the mobile site, but won't let me redirect to the normal site, and a bunch of their content gets cut off on the normal site. Obnoxious.

Digg does this well- they let you opt for the normal or the mobile version of the site, and they remember your choice.

Jared Brandt

Too bad it doesn't load with Android based phones. I wanted to check it out.

Peter

I really like the execution here. Creating sites for specific mobile platforms is so new, and things will get progress quickly as people develop appropriate expectations and best practices. Great work!

El Jefe

The Frog's Leap site is pretty spiffy, I think I want one like that ;) One minor nit is that when you tap "Map" it sends you to the Google Map app with no easy way back.

Tyson Caly

El Jefe, check out http://designvineyard.com for more info on mobile website development. We'd be happy to help.

Also, good call about the Map link. Thanks for pointing that out. I've thought of a way to solve that. I'll work that in soon, as well as getting it to redirect properly on Android phones.

Any other feedback?

Jon Bjork

Thanks for another very helpful post, Mike! I've enjoyed your site all year!

Regarding going mobile, it is definitely frustrating when I get someone revved up about our Panthos wine then see them yank out their iPhone to take a look. Since it's all Flash, all they see is a broken picture like on black centered on their screen. Immediate downer!

I downloaded the iPhone SDK several months ago, but haven't had time to rebuild our site for it. Too bad we don't have money to throw at it, but it would be worth it!

El Jefe

Jon - First things first: dump the flash for your main web site! It's not search friendly, and lots of people run flash blockers on their browsers (like me ;) I recall that Mike has written about this in the past and can weigh in with several more reasons than I can remember right now.

Tyson - Thanks, I might just do that soon. But as spiffy as the site is, it's still substantially a brochure. What's really needed is a way to conduct efficient ecommerce on a mobile platform. Filling out forms is a drag on a mobile, but being able to capture a new customer via mobile will be huge!

Mike Duffy

The best example of e-commerce on a mobile phone is probably Amazon. I ordered a bunch of stuff for Xmas using my iPhone while standing in Best Buy (and not finding what I wanted).

The whole point is to completely streamline the experience. Most wineries have a short, well-defined list of what is for sale, which makes it easier than Amazon, i.e. "search" should not be the first thing you see on a winery's mobile e-commerce page.

In general, I find mobile Web sites a lot cleaner and clearer (if well-executed) than the "regular" kind, because you've got to focus on the absolutely essential.

And you can drive people to use mobile by offering mobile-only deals/specials (which you promote via twitter).

Mike Duffy

Tyson Caly passed along this information for those of you having trouble accessing the site using your mobile (or who just want to see it):

"FYI - people can access the site via http://frogsleap.com/mobile/ and soon http://m.frogsleap.com in case the auto-detector doesn't work."

Tyson Caly

The beauty of Amazon is the 1-click checkout. Likely, people already have an account and have saved credit card details, making the checkout process relatively painless on a mobile site. Enter username and password and you're good to go. Because wineries are on all different e-commerce platforms, it makes it hard to centralize like Amazon does. Wouldn't that be a cool dream, one account for all wineries... too bad that won't likely happen.

Clearly, El Jefe, you're right, it's a brochure site, but with the added benefit of the Tap to Call feature. That call to action should be ideal for wineries. A typical website is not a very personal experience, so why not gear it to making a phone call. The winery can then tell the person more about the story, fill them in on fun events, potentially upsell, get the person to join a club.

Personally, I would find the mobile e-commerce experience too cumbersome to really want to do it. I would rather make a call, wouldn't you? I'm not saying not to have the ability to order online, I just think it would prove too difficult and time consuming for most people. A phone call is simple, everyone can do that!

Great idea about promotions that are mobile-only Mike! If someone calls in from the mobile site, why not offer them a free tasting, or some sort of discount as a way of saying thanks. That would be a decent way to measure the effectiveness of the mobile site.

El Jefe

Clearly calling is the way to go for now, but I think there still needs to be a generic way to easily enter new customer data via mobile. If, as they say, the online world will be predominantly in five years, someone has to come up with something.

A classic situation for wineries is to be at a large tasting event - think Ft Mason in SF - where you can pour but not do sales directly. The acoustics in there are horrible so a phone call isn't very practical. How cool would it be to have a "show special" that customers could whip out their mobile and order right on the spot, completing the whole transaction in just a few seconds? (Plan B is for me to whip out my mobile and somehow get all of the data and place the order for them. But Plan A is better I think.)

Whoever comes up with a practical method to make this work will make themselves and us a lot of money!

Tyson - I do love the "Tap to Call" button, clearly the best feature of the mobile. But how does the person at the winery know the call came in that way (other than asking every time or using a unique number)?

Mike Duffy

Unique (even better, toll-free) numbers are cheap tracking tools.

Tyson Caly

Unique numbers are perfect for that, and we've been mentioning that to the wineries we're working with. So far, they haven't set them up. We use Grasshopper http://grasshopper.com for our virtual phone system, which has some really great features.

I'll assume you guys have heard of Square, the mobile credit card processor that plugs into your iPhone. That could be a perfect solution for a remote tasting event you mention El Jefe. It captures the persons billing details right there on the spot... I'm hoping to set up a demo with them soon to see how it could benefit the wine world.

But yes, I would assume something will come along that works very well to solve this problem, and I look forward to the day.

Tyson Caly

Oh, this just in...

Sources inside Apple confirmed a "big" event planned for January 26th focused "on the mobility space, according to Fox News

This will no doubt play into the mobile space as well... I'm very curious to see what they come up with. Whatever it is, we'll be doing whatever we can to support the wine industry.

El Jefe

I have heard of Square and they are on my list to find out more (looks pretty cool!) The challenge we have as wineries, of course, is that we often need more than just billing info, but also an appropriate shipping address (with an adult to receive) and in some cases a birth date. Email and/or phone for tracking wouldn't hurt either. If we're out someplace selling direct just billing is fine, but that's the exception.

Regarding Apple, rumor has it that this will be the long awaited announcement of the tablet Mac...

Splitinc

Looks like we're a little late on this thread, but I wanted to direct you to www.splitinc.com

In addition to web dev, rich media and social media strategy, we also build highly functional mobile sites for the wine industry, with a simple integrated ecommerce platform to boot!

Let us know if you'd like us to walk you through our process.

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